Toy Plane

Relationship: Child of im/migrant
Toy Plane
Toy Plane

In the fall of 1991, my mom, Sara, took a plane, as she had multiple times throughout her childhood. This time, however, she was moving to New York City. Moving away from her tight-knit Italian family was not taken well but my mom took a leap of faith in the hopes of one day achieving the glorious American dream. This plane was found in my mother's luggage after landing. Unbeknownst to her, my grandfather, a pilot for Alitalia, snuck it into her luggage to remind her of her roots and the opportunities that his occupation gave her. Growing up, my mother traveled the world. Her most memorable stop was NYC. After returning from there, my mom was dedicated to graduating from college and move to the U.S. Taking advantage of her opportunity of free flights, my mother did just that. Seeing this plane in her luggage thus meant a lot to my mom as it illustrated that my grandfather would always be there for her and her connection to Italy and her family would remain constant. Now, this plane means much more to me and my experience as a first-generation American. Growing up, my parents saw assimilation as a priority which hindered my knowledge of my background. Therefore, this plane is also a metaphor for my connection to my family overseas and the opportunity that it gave me to learn the languages and cultural traditions of my heritage. This plane is also a reminder that while I am constantly very geographically separated from my family, I am always just a few hours away. 

Place(s): Italy, New York City
Year: 1991

– Sophia

Relationship:  Child of im/migrant Child of im/migrant